The Portrait Project

North Coast Artists' Guild

Open exhibit of art inspired by people's portraits

Opening Reception: Friday, May 1 at 5:00 p.m.; exhibit remains through May 31, 2015

Burnett Gallery


“The Portrait Project,” hosted by the North Coast Artists’ Guild, is a new show designed to bring the community at large and the arts community together. This is a three-phase project. Phase one is taking portraits of people in the community. Phase two is enrolling artists in any medium to interpret the portraits, and phase three is the show itself starring each portrait and the interpretive work together.

Photo of Jeff Cotton, by Harvey MendelsonPortrait of Jeff Cotton, by Perry Cordill

Phase one is scheduled for October 25, 2014 (an additional session has been scheduled for January 17), when portrait photographer Harvey Mendelson will be available at the Gualala Arts Center to take portraits of anyone in the community interested in participating. “Sitters should ‘come as you are,'” says Mendelson. “Don’t worry about hair or make-up, just plan to have fun.” Mendelson uses a single drape in each photo, the unifying element that ties the project together. “Sitters can use it as a cloak, a head scarf, over a shoulder or just hold it,” Mendelson notes. “Be creative!” The cost to have a portrait taken is $20 and the sitter will receive a copy of their portrait.

Photo of Patrick Parks, by Harvey MendelsonPortrait of Patrick Parks, by Patty Bird

In phase two, artists, working in any medium, will be given one or more portraits to work with. They are encouraged to interpret what they see in the portrait, literally or figuratively, and create an entirely new work. Portraits will be available to artists starting in November, 2014.

Phase three is the exhibit itself in the Gualala Arts Center Jacob Foyer. This exhibit will bring the portraits and the interpretive artworks together. Each portrait will be framed and matted by Mendelson, then placed next to the corresponding interpretive work(s).

Photo of Ciel Yogis, by Harvey MendelsonPortrait of Ciel Yogis, by Hope Sivera


Artists interested in creating pieces from the portraits and participating in the exhibit can download a Portrait Project registration form or pick one up at the Gualala Arts Center.

Deadline is April 15, 2015